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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Live coverage of the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California; Aired 8-9p ET
Aired December 2, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:12] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening, everybody.
As you see, we are awaiting a press conference now from police officials to get the latest information because there have been a lot of conflicting reports in a very fast-moving situation, what may be the deadliest mass shooting since Sandy Hook.
We know it is according to police. Massive police presence in and around San Bernardino, California, especially just south of the airport there in the neighboring city of (INAUDIBLE). As I said, we are waiting to hear from authorities. They are expected to brief reporters at any moment.
Here is what we know right now. One or more suspects is down, possibly dead after a chase and a shootout that reportedly included suspects armed with assault rifles tossing pipe bombs. There is a black SUV, the getaway car, riddled with bullet holes. Police going door to door looking for one of as many as three killers who walked into a social services complex. The inland regional center and opened fire.
Now, at least 14 people were killed, 17 hurt. Some of them we are told badly wounded. As we say, this are all very early reports, a very fluid stories. And as we are waiting for that press conference, which you see on the right-hand side of your screen, we are obviously going to bring that to you live. Because what we are particularly interested in trying to learn right now is exactly how many suspects were involved in the shooting. Is it just the two who are both believed to be down? One was seen dead on live television several feet away from an SUV or dozens of feet away from an SUV that was riddled with bullet holes.
Local media reporting on the scene and helicopter pilot reporting they could see another body in the backseat in that vehicle that was shot up with bullet holes. We have not been able to independently confirm that although police have not -- they have said the second person has been engaged. They didn't say that second person was killed or the status of that second person. But we believe there may have been a second suspect inside that vehicle which you see right there.
Now the question, of course, is was there in fact a third shooter involved in this? And if there was, where is that person now? We have seen door to door searching. We have seen door to door searching going on in communities around there. There is a heavy police presence. And again, we are waiting of a police news conference because frankly, the last one that occurred about an hour ago, the officer had just promised to give a press conference. There was really not -- she really did not have a lot of facts did not have a lot of information to give out and said at this press conference, she believes there will be a lot more detail.
This you see earlier, some of the movements of law enforcement. Again, these are not live pictures. You are seeing some of just the intense police response. Multiple different agencies responding over the last several hours. This is an ongoing situation in the streets of San Bernardino.
CNN's Kyung Lah is on the scene. She joins us now as we are awaiting the press conference that you see there in the right-hand side of your screen.
Kyung, if you can, just bring us up to date on what we know now.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We have spoken to the police sergeant, the highest ranking officer here who has been speaking to the media. She is basically been trying to keep us updated until the police chief arrives. She is hoping that he is going to have some significant details to tell us.
What she can tell us for now is that this, this active scene that you are seeing as night falls here in San Bernardino is that it began as quote "follow-up work" after this scene that the officer approached this vehicle. Gunfire was exchanged between this one officer and the suspects and I use the word suspects because that is the plural that the police chief tweeted out.
The suspects fired. The officer was wounded. He was taken to the hospital. His injuries are not life threatening. As far as the suspects, the police chief tweeting that the suspects are down. As far as a manhunt, there is a very active, very dangerous manhunt going on right now.
What the police sergeant is telling us is that officers are going door to door. This is a residential area. This is a populated area. They are also very concerned because there are also some businesses nearby. They are not sure if any of these suspects might dive into one of these residences or one of these businesses so that's what they are concerned about.
But as night falls, it becomes extremely dangerous. What the sergeant is issuing for the public that lives here in San Bernardino, especially in this proximate one-mile radius, stay indoors. They do not know what is going to happen in this particular area. And again, they grow more concerned as the night falls, Anderson.
COOPER: And Kyung, Let's just kind of take us step back here because, you know, this idea of there being a third gunman, where does that come from? Is that based on eyewitness reports from the scene of the initial shooting?
[20:05:04] LAH: You have it exactly right. Eyewitness reports in the initial shooting. The police heard from people -- yes? COOPER: Because - I mean, we should caution with eyewitness reports
from an initial shooting often, there are reports of multiple shooters or three shooters or more and very often those reports do not turn out to be accurate. So what's really critical it seems is the interview with the police officer who was wounded because that officer actually had eyes on the vehicle, had eyes on the suspects. And according to the police tweet, they tweeted they did talk about suspects plural so we believe there were at least two and those two have been engaged and most likely one of them is dead. The status of the other not clear but believed to be in the -- was in the vehicle. It's not clear and police are not saying yet and they may say -- they may clarify at this press conference momentarily, but we don't know for a fact there is a third suspect, correct?
LAH: You are absolutely right. And even when the police chief announced that there were three suspects, he cautioned everyone in front of the cameras saying that initially these eyewitness reports a lot of people may have seen things that weren't really there. That is really what does happen when there is such a high level of panic and so much adrenaline going on.
The police chief cautioning people, look, there are three. We believe there are three suspects. But again, as you point out, Anderson, that very well could change.
What we can tell you is that if there are at least two suspects down, there does still remain an active search. The sergeant saying that right now, whether or not that they are going off this third suspect based on those initial eyewitness reports or they believe that they have eyes on a third one, they are looking through this neighborhood, looking for something.
COOPER: And obviously, Kyung, as night falls, it is getting dark there as we see in the press conference, waiting for that press conference at the right-hand side of our screen, it gets even more difficult for the police who are conducting house to house searches, walking through neighborhoods.
LAH: You can imagine how incredibly dangerous this is. We are talking about suspects who came here, who looked as if they certainly had a plan and they were carrying long guns. We don't know exactly what type of bullets they were using. We don't know what type of protection the police need as they have less and less light to try to walk through these neighborhoods. I mean, put yourself in the situation. It's incredibly dangerous. So that's really what is the law enforcement concern as night falls here.
And Anderson, one thing we should point out is that there is a secondary scene. The initial scene behind me about a block away, they are still combing through the building. They are still working to try to piece together what happened, why it happened and that there are 14 people who were killed in this initial shooting, 17 people who are wounded.
COOPER: Yes. Kyung, stick around. Stay with us.
I want to bring in our Deborah Feyerick who has been working her sources, broke some news just a short time ago.
Deb, just bring us up to date, the latest you are hearing.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on the phone): Well, what we do know, Anderson, is that there were two men who were found in the vehicle, one of them is dead. Unclear the status of the second man. Both of them were found to have AR-15-type weapons. And as police chased the vehicle, sources telling me that items were thrown from the car as the shootout sort of ensued.
One of those things sought in the car appears to be a pipe bomb. And one of the officers do us following and engaged the suspects, he is being questioned right now because he really had eyes on the vehicle. He knows how many people were inside. He, himself, was injured as sort of ricochet effect. But he seems to be in good condition and he is being questioned.
We are told also, Anderson, that a search in the Red Land area that could involve the home of one of the possible suspects. So the authorities know of two individuals both of them at the car. A third, though, is now being sought. This is what they are looking for at this moment, Anderson.
COOPER: Right. Deb, I mean, the fact that they found a vehicle, whether it is a rented vehicle or whether it is actually belongs to one of the suspects, that even if they don't have identification on them, even if they are not able to immediately get fingerprint analysis from the bodies of the one suspect we know is dead or some other identifying mark to identify him, tracing that vehicle can bring them very quickly immediately to the home or the last-known location of that person.
FEYERICK: That's exactly right, Anderson. And we saw a little of this, you know, back in the Paris attacks just two weeks ago. This is not to say that this is that kind of attack. And right now a lot of federal authorities are sort of pushing back and saying that everybody is investigating this. But yes, that, all that will yield clues. Who rented the vehicle, where the vehicle is from, when it was rented, the identity of the driver, the identity whether there were any other people registered to the vehicle. They will look at identifiers on the body, the known body that is dead along with the other man. And all of this is going to lead them closer to the people that they are trying to get and possibly to a motive.
And this is -- chances are people are going to start claiming some credit for this or at least they are going to be praising these attacks, you know. That is a propaganda tool. But again, federal authorities sort of saying, you know, right now they are really in the thick of the investigation and they just don't know. But that is a big sign. And clearly, even looking at the pipe bombs that's going to be big, as well.
[20:10:00] COOPER: So, I mean, we have been focusing on how this engagement culminated with the shootout of that SUV. The killing of at least one of the suspects. The status -- the apprehension of the second suspect who was believed to be in that vehicle, his status currently unknown. Again, we don't know if there is a third shooter out there.
But Deb, I mean, the FBI which has investigated, you know, 15 years of active shooter attacks in this country, more than 160 attacks, I think, if my memory serves me correct on the FBI report, there has only been maybe two or three that have involved multiple active shooters.
FEYERICK: Well, exactly. And you know, the FBI and the justice department has been working aggressively to uncover different threads and different plots and there was a plot uncovered in the New York, New Jersey area over the summer, just before July 4th. There was effectively a big roundup of a number of people who had links or who authorities were concerned could potentially act out. And so, the whole concept of multiples, you know, this is how individuals get strength. They find strength in sort of the commonality, find something they believe in together, finding a reason to carry out some sort of a hateful attack.
So you're right. But they are looking at this very closely. One other thing, Anderson, that I can tell you and that is you may see a bear cat was brought in one of the big heavy armored vehicles. And I am told by the source that the body of the dead person was indeed checked for explosives. And that was one of the things that they were very concerned about. Clearly lessons learned from previous attacks, Anderson.
COOPER: Deb, I'm going to ask you this and I'm not sure if you know more about this information, if you don't, I'll check with Kyung Lah to see if she does. The target, what we believe to have been the target of the attack and we know the facility but there was actually a conference center within the facility that often would be booked by outside groups. Do we know exactly who the group was who was having a meeting or some sort of function at that conference center at the time? Because it seems like most of the fatalities, if not all occurred within that area.
FEYERICK: Well, it was a government building. It was rented out. I do believe they know the group that was using that facility at the time but it's one of the groups that you would not think these people would be a target of some sort of an attack like this. So that is obviously one of the things they are looking into, was this specific to the group of people?
COOPER: But was it local government officials or was it a private group? Do we know?
FEYERICK: No, my understanding and you should check with Kyung Lah but my understanding is that it was sort of a government building with different public officials just having some sort of holiday celebration.
FEYERICK: But they are looking at that. And again, the soft target is the question right now and that is something that officials, Anderson, you know have feared since 9/11. COOPER: Right.
FEYERICK: That attackers would go after the easiest targets and it doesn't matter who, it doesn't matter where. The objective of different kind of groups --
COOPER: Let me go --
FEYERICK: Go after vulnerability.
COOPER: Right. Let me go to Kyung.
Kyung, do you know any more about the actual group that was meeting which appears to have been targeted? Because obviously, that is something law enforcement is going to be looking at to see whether there was some sort of grudge that one of these people or all these people had against somebody in the group or, you know, there have been active shooter cases I remember one I think down in Florida where a gunman went into a local city council meeting and started shooting at people on the city council because he had some sort of belief they had done him or his family wrong. Do we know what group this was meeting, Kyung?
LAH: What we do know is that this was definitely not the building owner, which is a company that helps the developmentally disabled. They have an auditorium. They rent that to the county. What we are told, the best description we could get as of right now, Anderson, is that it was rented to county personnel. County personnel, they were having the holiday celebration. That's the very best description that we have as of yet.
COOPER: I'm sorry, could you repeat that? It was rented to county what?
LAH: Personnel. Personnel. People who work for the county.
[20:15:02] COOPER: OK. All right, Kyung, thank you.
I want also - stick around. I want to bring in Lenny DePaul who headed up the U.S. marshal service fugitive task force from New Jersey and New York, former FBI director - assistant director Chris Swecker is also joining us, also CNN law enforcement analyst Art Roderick and Harry Houck. Art Roderick is the former assistant director of the U.S. marshal service and harry Houck is a former NYPD detective.
Harry, just in terms of what you are seeing from law enforcement movement on the ground, obviously with night falls, the danger increases and the difficulty increases.
HARRY HOUCK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Right. Well, you know, it's clear and I think the police have a good reason to believe that there is a third person. That's why there were so many police officers out there. Now, I'm sure they questioned that officer who first engaged the shooters and he would probably be able to be the best to tell them whether or not there were two people or three people in the vehicle. COOPER: Because he saw the vehicle.
HOUCK: Right. Exactly after the -- and he also engaged them. So when you see the police officers making moves like, you are seeing hundreds of police officers coming into the area. I mean, this is an astounding amount of police. And the fact is they have all this area that they have to cover and they have - and they know darkness is coming soon. So they want to clear this whole area. If that third shooter, if he does exist, this in that area, they want to get him before dark comes.
HOUCK: Because it will make it hard.
COOPER: I want to hold the panel for just a second. I want to bring someone who was caught right in the middle of the shootout.
David Danelski is a reporter from a local paper, "the Press Enterprise." He joins us by phone.
David, I understand you were -- well, explain where you were, what you heard and saw.
DAVID DANELSKI, REPORTER, THE PRESS ENTERPRISE (on the phone): OK. I was at -- there was a community center where family members were waiting to meet up with loved ones and I was interviewing some families there. And then I got a tip that there was a sighting of the SUV in a different part of town. And I went driving towards there. And (INAUDIBLE) San Bernardino Avenue, but I saw three or four police cars and flight go on San Bernardino Avenue and I followed them. And as I was following them, I heard a thunderous sound and there were these strange noises and I didn't know what it was. But I guess it was bullets. Looking through there it was like a whipping sound.
And I pulled over and got out of the car, grabbed my camera and I could see some police officers ahead of me. And I didn't hear any shooting at that part and I started walking towards it. And then there was thunderous outbreak of gunfire. Police officers yelled for me to get down, that all guns were drawn. And then, as this was going on, waves and waves of police officers were coming from behind me and that gunfire was kind of sporadic. It was fire up.
I did my best to stay low. I managed to cross the street and got into a front yard and hid behind a brick wall. It was really silent but there are police all over the place with guns drawn and agitated. And then at one point a police officer saw me behind the blocked wall and approached me with guns drawn, got very close, yelled at me. I explained I was a reporter. And I had literally got caught up in this and he withdrew his gun and told me to get out of there and that a family took me in. And they waited it out in the yard. And then police finally came about a half hour later came and said that they are getting ready to detonate a bomb they have found and they asked the family members to get inside and realized I was a journalist so they got escorted me out.
COOPER: David, did you see -- this was all at the location of the SUV, correct?
DANELSKI: Yes, and I did not see the SUV. I did not see the shooters or any of that. I - you know, it was a situation where there was a lot of gunfire. And the shooting went on for a ten-minute period I would say and got quiet again.
COOPER: And did you say --?
DANELSKI: I didn't see it all. I mean, I never had a point of view of them.
COOPER: Right. Did you say you heard shooting while you were driving as well?
DANELSKI: Yes, yes, that's how the whole -- that's when I realized something was going on. I was actually driving about 30 miles per hour and hearing a whipping sound sling by the car. And I found out later that where I was, the initial engagement occurred and that this apparently there was from what neighbors are telling me, from eyewitnesses told me that they saw shootings going down as they were going down the street. So I don't know how accurate that is but it is with what I saw.
[20:20:19] COOPER: So David, I'm just trying to zero in on a couple of details here. The shooting you heard while you were driving, about how far away were you from the location you eventually ended up at in? I'm just trying to get a sense of kind of --.
DANELSKI: About a block.
COOPER: OK. So that shooting went on from the first time you heard it was about a block away from where it actually -- you ended up?
DANELSKI: Yes, yes.
COOPER: So, theoretically then, the SUV and the police were still on the move when those shots were being fired.
DANELSKI: Yes. The gun battle appeared to be going down the street.
COOPER: OK. And then how far away from the SUV were you when you actually got out of your vehicle and were hiding behind a structure?
DANELSKI: I don't know. There was a black SUV right where I was hiding and it was just stopped in the street and I never was concerned that was the suspect's vehicle or another vehicle that looked like it. It could have very well been but I don't know for sure. So --
COOPER: But you didn't see an SUV.
DANELSKI: The police from my point of view were looking in yards by the north side of the road. So it appears the suspect got out of the vehicles and police were going in looking in the homes on the north side of the street. So I just refuge on the south side of the street the whole time. COOPER: When you were out of your vehicle and you heard shots being
fired, was it your impression again you may not know the answer to this, was it your impression there was incoming fire or fire mostly out going from police towards the suspects?
DANELSKI: I don't know which way it was going. That was a scary thing about it. I could see police up front and they were probably engaged in shooting, but I couldn't tell which police were shooting and which were not. It seemed as though like waves of police were just arriving behind me and running ahead of me with guns drawn. Guns of, you know, some had handguns, others had assault rifles and they were all different uniforms of -- I recognized the police, San Bernardino county sheriff's deputies as well as California highway patrol and I think I saw a Colton police, Colton is the neighboring city of San Bernardino.
COOPER: Right. David, David Danelski, listen, I appreciate you telling us what you saw. Quite a dramatic day for you. David is a reporter with "the Press Enterprise." David, again, thank you very much. I'm glad you are doing OK.
We are back with the panel, Lenny DePaul, Chris Swecker, Art Roderick and Harry Houck.
Art, what are you most interested in learning, I men, in terms of the details you heard that stand out to you and what do you need to know?
ART RODERICK, FORMER ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF THE U.S. MARSHALS OFFICE: Well, the key part is there is a third suspect? And I'm hearing there is more police activity somewhere, not quite sure what that means. It could means they would be following up on leads of the two individuals or one individual they have on the ground there that they had taken out earlier. But motive is going to be the key here.
If there is two or three individuals involved in this, what is their motive? Is it criminal which we heard from Pamela Brown earlier? Is it criminal or domestic terrorism? But it is very unusual to have two or three shooters involved in this type of activity without some nefarious reason for doing it.
COOPER: Chris, how much preparation do you think an attack like this needs to have or would have had?
CHRIS SWECKER, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Well, you know, we don't know the details of the attack, but you can tell by the equipment they were carrying and the way they pulled this off that this had to have -- they had to have military training or train themselves, had access to assault weapons, possibly explosives and it has the hallmarks of a terrorist act. We will have to find out. I mean, this is going to take couple of hours here to unravel what we got on our hands here right now.
COOPER: It's also interesting, Chris, because if they had pipe bombs in the vehicle, does that mean -- was that part of the getaway plan or were there other targets they planned to hit? Did they want to hit, you know, multiple targets to kind of create multiple havoc or were there specific other targets, again, all of this we don't know at this point, but that's something that certainly raises questions the fact they had weaponry that they were using in the escape that they could have used elsewhere.
SWECKER: Yes, I heard a theory earlier that there may have been a second attack planned or multiple attacks planned. That seems plausible to me because they stayed in the area. The pipe bombs, the fact that they are not going to get taken alive. They obviously nobody made even an attempt to surrender. So I think there is a strong possibility that there were other attacks planned, either today or sometime in the near future.
COOPER: Yes. And Art, as you mentioned, Pamela Brown reported earlier a source told CNN that the current belief is this either some form of domestic terrorism or criminal. Based on what we know so far, and again, early reports there is a lot probably more we don't know than we actually do know. Does that make sense to you?
RODERICK: Well, the criminal aspect doesn't. Because what do they actually get out of this? I mean, we have heard that there was possibly some people from the department of public health from the state of California holding this conference there. That seems to be kind of an odd target for them unless there was something domestically involved. But then you got two or three shooters here. So it's a very strange scenario for this to be criminal when you have got this type of planning involved, high powered weapons, body armor and then a plan to escape. And that's the key part. They only spent a certain amount of time in the conference room and got out.
COOPER: Dan Bongino is also joining us, formerly with the NYPD also with the U.S. secret service.
Dan, obviously, again, we don't know if there is in fact a third gunman who is on the loose. Obviously, the police are searching for that person now. If, in fact he does exist, do you think, Dan, at this stage, though, in the investigation because it seems like there is a lot of confusion. We were told there would be a press conference, you know, 45 minutes ago that hasn't occurred. They are clearly trying to gather what information they have so they can get that out to the public. And, obviously, they want to get not only accurate information but they want to try to find out if in fact there is a third shooter to be able to tell people if they still need to be, you know, wary and hunker down in their homes. What do you make of what you've seen so far?
DAN BONGINO, FORMER NEW YORK POLICE DEPARTMENT OFFICER: Right, exactly. It's not a crime scene situation. And so, the crime is in fact stopped and you just kind summed it up nicely. The police is its first priority. Law enforcement's first priority. Federal state local is going to be to ensure that the attack is actually over. So we don't know right now with this alleged third gunman who still maybe out there.
But Anderson, there is another point here and I like to address. We don't even know that it's three gunmen. I mean, the information that has been out there and reported in the media right now is sparse. Is this a larger network? Nobody knows. So this crime has to be reverse engineered when the crime actually stops and it goes into the crime scene investigation component to find out that this is hopefully just three and not part of a larger group. We don't even know that yet.
Chris, I mean, that's a good point. Are there confederates still out there who helped rent a vehicle, who helped, you know, rent a house, who helped get weapons, who helped, you know, pre-visit the location? We don't know.
SWECKER: Right. I mean, not to make a premature comparison to Paris, but that would be actual attack was conducted by small set of individuals. But they were obviously aided and abetted by many others. We don't know that yet.
I will say that we ought to get our terminology straight here. Just because it happened domestically, doesn't make it domestic terrorism. 9/11 was an attack on U.S. soil, so was World Trade Center I. If it is internationally inspired, if there is some international inspiration or facilitation, that turns it into international terrorism. So I think we have to keep an open mind on that as well.
COOPER: Right. Again, Harry, it was a good point, you know. We have no idea at this point. It is important to stay on what we don't know as much as what we do know.
HOUCK: Right. What is really strange to me, though, Anderson, is the fact that, you know, why were they still in town? And the only reason I can come up with this is that there was going to be a second attack.
Now, when they had the chance to attack a second location, when all the police are over at this other location, right, for hours, right, and now they finally get spotted, so what was going through their minds? Did something happen that they couldn't make the second attack, alright? And why were they driving around town in the vehicle when they knew the police were looking for the vehicle? So it's really strange to me whether or not there was going to be a second attack or did they just want to finally confront the police.
COOPER: And we should point out, you see somebody at the podium there. The press conference has not begun. We are going to bring it to you as soon as it does begin. Right now they are just giving some names of various officials.
Lenny DePaul, and I may have to interrupt you for the press conference, to Harry Houck's point about why would they still be in the area, one key thing we don't know is how they actually got engaged by that officer who ended up being wounded? How that officer found that vehicle, was brought to that area and what they were doing in the area?
LENNY DEPAUL, FORMER DIRECTOR, U.S. MARSHALS REGIONAL FUGITIVE TASK FORCE OF NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY: Well, that certainly is what is going through law enforcement's mind at this point, Anderson. I mean, why were they in the area? Why did the three of them, if there is a third suspect, stayed together in that target vehicle? I mean, they hit this place pretty quick. They were methodical, they got in there, did a lot of damage, got out. Law enforcement, thank God, responded very quickly, but they stayed together. They were two miles from the original target. What was on their minds? And I'm sure, hopefully there is some answers between witnesses and the police officer that confronted the vehicle, and maybe there is some witnesses that have some sort of intel, but yes, that's the million dollar question.
COOPER: Does that surprise you that they are two miles from the original location, does it surprise you, given what you know about how either fugitives operate or people who are doing multiple attacks operate?
DEPAUL: It's scary and it certainly surprises me. What was their motive and MO? If there was three again, we don't know. I'm sure we'll find out soon, but, you know, they hit this first target quick. We don't know why or what their plans were there. Stayed in the area a couple of miles from the original target. Apparently they are pretty well armed with AR-15s and a lot of ammunition. So what was their mind-set, what was the next move? Nobody knows that. So with two of them down from what I hear and the third one possibly out there running around, the public certainly needs to remain vigilant and report anything to the police, they hear anything, see anything, you know, dark, it's getting dark there, so that certainly is going to be a problem, also. They will bring the appropriate assets, which I'm sure they have already with aviation support, night vision, thermal imaging, whatever they need.
COOPER: Chris, police forces around the country are retraining for active shooter situations. New York City police retrained all 35,000 officers. Washington D.C. police and I believe the LAPD -- and not sure about San Bernardino County but LAPD have certainly gone through a lot of active shooter drills, and even drilling for multiple active shooter attacks in multiple locations.
SWECKER: True. I think the larger departments have been drilling this, NYPD obviously in the forefront. Tactics have changed. Back in the days of Columbine, they would have formed a perimeter in a situation where there is an active shooter and very deliberately did a very slow and deliberate entry. Now I think they are all training for a dynamic engagement with the shooter.
I'm not sure that the smaller departments do this much training, and I am not so sure the first responders, ones that are most likely to encounter scenarios like this, get as much training as we think. The SWAT team obviously yes, but not the ones that are out in the patrol car each day. The ones that are most likely to pull up on a scene like this, so I don't think there is as much training as many people think.
COOPER: Again, as we're awaiting this press conference, and we think it will be an important one, and obviously, that's why we want to bring it to you live as soon as it starts, we have on the phone right now CNN's Scott Glover, reporter who has some new information about the search activity. Scott, what do you understand? SCOTT GLOVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, I'm in Redlands,
California, not too far from San Bernardino, where the police are serving a search warrant in an apartment building that a police P.I.O. just confirmed was linked to the shootings earlier today. There has been heavy police presence out here for the past couple of hours. There is a large armored SWAT vehicle. There are officers in military fatigues, and I counted at least a couple dozen officers, and again, a new information is that they are serving a search warrant.
COOPER: You don't happen to know obviously, not talking about names, but whether this was the suspect who was seen dead on the street or the suspect who's believed to have been in that SUV or a potential third suspect, do we know?
GLOVER: I do not know anything more than it's linked to today's activities. Not to, you know, a particular which suspect it might be. Again, a lot of police out here, apparently a lot of interest, but I don't know which suspects.
COOPER: Okay. Scott, do you happen to know the building that you said it's an apartment building. Do you know if -- you may have just gotten there and you may not know this, and that's fine, but do you know is it a rental apartment or is it owner -- owned condo co-op? Do we know?
GLOVER: It appears to be rental apartments. I was out here fairly early on, before -- the police presence probably quadrupled since I've been here. But we've been pushed back, and I can't really say that much about it, other than it appears from my vantage point that it's, you know, just kind of an apartment complex.
COOPER: OK. Scott Glover, appreciate it. We'll continue to gather information from you and we'll check in with you throughout the evening.
We're still here with our panel. Dan Bongino, Chris Swecker, Harry Houck, Lenny DePaul. Dan, and Art Roderick as well. Dan Bongino, in terms of this - and it looks like the press conference is just getting started, so let's actually just go over to the press conference as we -- oh, OK. I'm told it's not starting yet. They are just kind of getting situated. Dan, does it surprise you, Dan, that this SUV, which had time to leave the area certainly, that for whatever reason they didn't?
DAN BONGINO: Yeah, my best guess here, Anderson, is, again, as Chris stated before accurately. So, Columbine changed everything. The idea now is to not set up an initial ...
COOPER: Dan, I'm sorry, I got to jump in here, let's listen.
CHIEF JARROD BURGUAN, SAN BERNARDINO CALIFORNIA POLICE: Good evening, folks, so this is the second official press conference that we'll do on this. I'm not going to go through all of the details that we went through in the first press conference, but I will say this, since that time, we are still working on the building here at the Inland Regional Center. As officers were searching the building we had mentioned in the first press conference that there was some suspicious devices. One of those devices is believed to potentially be an explosive device, so that they can get a very cautious, very slow approach to processing that building and rendering that safe. So, I would imagine we're going to be in here for several hours as the bomb squad continues to work that part.
On the investigative side, we had followed up on some tips. That took us to a residence in the city of Redlands. When officers were setting up on that residence to watch it, there was a vehicle that was seen leaving that was suspected of possibly being involved. There ended up being a pursuit of that vehicle and eventually that pursuit came back to San Bernardino Avenue between Mountain View and Richardson here in the city of San Bernardino where the suspect vehicle stopped and there was an officer-involved shooting.
We had multiple officers that were involved in the shooting. We have two suspects that are dead at the scene, one is a male, one is a female. We had one police officer that was wounded. He has injuries that are not considered to be life threatening and he is at a local hospital and is expected to be OK.
Of the suspects that were, that are dead at the scene, one is a male, one is a female. They were dressed in kind of assault-style clothing, I think it's probably the best way to term it. They are both armed with assault rifles. They are both armed with handguns, and there is also kind of some sensitive stuff around the vehicle that they are just not real sure. They are taking a very cautious approach to dealing with the vehicle in case there is more explosives there.
With that, I'm going to turn it over to David Bowdich with the FBI to talk about some parts of the investigation.
DAVID BOWDICH, FBI LOS ANGELES ASSISTANT DIRECTOR IN CHARGE: Thank you, chief. So, first off, my name is ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Close to the mic please.
BOWDICH: My name is David Bowdich. I'm the assistant director in charge of the FBI here in the Los Angeles field office.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Spell that.
BOWDICH: B, O, W, D, I, C, H. First off, we want to extend our true sadness to the families of the victims. There are many, many victims who were involved here, some are obviously deceased. Others are wounded and being treated as we speak. This is truly a tragedy in our country, and we will continue to apply all the resources necessary to assure that both us, the sheriff's department, the San Bernardino police department as well as the ATF work this thing together to assure that we have chased down every lead to solve this case.
Secondly, we are bringing in FBI resources. We have agents on a house in Redland - in Redlands, California right now, that house, as we know, we do not know the contents of what's in that house, but previous active shooter incidents have shown us that there are times when devices are left behind. We do not have any indications there are devices to my knowledge, but we certainly are going to proceed very cautiously into that house to preserve life and limb of our employees.
We're bringing evidence response teams in to work hand in hand with our state and local partners on the officer-involved shooting scenes, as well as the scene here where we have multiple victims, as well as the house. We will continue to go down this road. This is a marathon, not a sprint. I know one of the big questions that will come up repeatedly, is this terrorism? And I am still not willing to say that we know that for sure. We are definitely making some movements that it is a possibility.
BOWDICH: We are making some adjustments to our investigation. It is a possibility. But we don't know that yet. And we're not willing to go down that road yet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: David, the relationship between the two dead suspects?
BOWDICH: Unknown at this point.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How old approximately are they?
BOWDICH: I do not even know that. This is ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about the third suspect? There was talk of a third suspect.
BOWDICH: There is a third suspect, and I don't know the disposition of that suspect. I would defer that question to the chief. What I will tell you on any indications of terrorism or this investigation, and I told a few of you already, we will go where the evidence takes us. It's possible it goes down that road. It's also possible it does not. We're just not sure yet and when we are fairly sure, we will let you know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have a motive for this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this possibly terrorism?
BOWDICH: There are a number of potentials and there is a few potential things, but we just don't know and I'm not willing to go down that road. This is a very fluid active investigation. We are still gathering facts. All the heads of agencies that we have here, we are still gathering some of these facts ourselves, because this scene is - throughout the city, and into another city and it's incredibly fluid and that's just the way these things -- we'll get there when we get there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The names of the deceased?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any information about the identity of the third suspect? Description, age, anything?
BURGUAN: So I should have included that in my - when I talked a moment ago. So, as I said, we had an officer-involved shooting on Summer (ph) Avenue between Mountain View and Richardson. There were two people in the vehicle, both of those people are deceased. There was a third person that was seen running away, we do not know if they were involved. We have that person detained. I don't have any information on who that person is yet, and we certainly do not know if they were involved. It's possible that they were not.
In addition to that and the reason we put things out on social media that we ask for people to shelter in place in those neighborhoods, is because there were some folks that called in and it reported that they heard folks, they heard somebody jumping fences and they reported some of that activity in the neighborhood. We don't know if that was possibly responding officers, but we took a cautious approach. We locked down the neighborhood. We asked people to shelter in place, and we searched that neighborhood extensively. As of a couple minutes ago we just got word that that search is being wrapped up, no additional folks have been contacted or seen there. So, we feel that that area is safe, and we can lift that shelter in place order there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chief, do you have information - and why this location?
BURGUAN: We do not have a motive.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Approximate age of the suspects?
BURGUAN: We do not - I do not have that right now. Keep in mind, keep in mind that I said that there were some things that were causing the officers to take a very, very cautious approach in approaching the suspects, and so we just are not that far into the investigation yet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that possible?
BOWDICH: I'm sorry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Possibility these suspects might have had suicide vests or something similar?
BURGUAN: I don't know. I have not heard suicide vest, no.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe that this whole situation is all clear, that people are safe? Are there still more shooters potentially out there?
BURGUAN: We feel confident about the neighborhood where the officer- involved shooting took place that we have - that we have secured that and there is nobody outstanding there. We're reasonably confident on that. On the broader scale of the investigation, as they said earlier on, we had information that there were potentially three shooters. We're still on a point where we are tracking down that information. We're going to try to continue to identify if there was a third person involved or potentially even more people that might have been involved in the planning, but we're still pretty early on that part of the investigation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about a holiday party?
BURGUAN: I can't listen to all of them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a report out that at the holiday party somebody left angrily, went out and came back with two other people, guns and started firing, any truth to that?
BURGUAN: So, I have heard that they were in a meeting or a holiday party type event at the Inland Regional Center. Somebody did leave, but we have no idea if that is the person that came back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you -- that's a possibility then?
BURGUAN: Somebody did leave. There was some type of dispute or something when somebody left that party, but we have no idea if those are the people that came back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have any idea what kind of weapons were recovered at the point of the shootout? You said that long guns ...
BURGUAN: They were assault style weapons.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
BURGUAN: Yeah, that type of weapon yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are there explosives, sir, near the black SUV currently?
BURGUAN: There was a report that they potentially threw what was identified as a pipe bomb. I think we've rendered that device safe. It was not an explosive. I think we're still working on the vehicle and making sure that is safe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you give us anything on description of the suspects, their appearance or ethnicity, anything, age?
BURGUAN: Just the way that it was described to me as, and I said this in the first press conference, they came dressed and equipped and I think the people that we have at the scene that are deceased are dressed in that way. They are dressed in dark kind of tactical gear, I think is the best way I'll put it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ethnicity, anything like that?
BURGUAN: I don't know. I don't know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Since you served the search warrant, is it your understanding that they ...
BURGUAN: I didn't say we served a search warrant. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. We understand you served a search warrant, so
- being told, so is it your understanding that they were held up in the general area then the whole time? They never left ...
BURGUAN: No, no, there was - there was information on the early part of the investigation as we started to develop information, there was one particular focus area that we went. There were a couple, but there was one particular focus area that we went to and it was one of those follow-ups focus areas that led us to the house in Redlands. That led to the ultimate pursuit that led to the officer involved shooting.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did it appear they lived there? Is that their house?
BURGUAN: The address was connected to the follow-up that we had. I don't know. I don't know who the suspects are. Nor do I know if that is where they lived.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you believe that the police killed the two people at the end?
BURGUAN: They were carrying assault style weapons.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were they ak-47S?
BURGUAN: I don't know the specific caliber and - model of the gun.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chief, the arrested ...
BURGUAN: Real quick.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The two people in the SUV?
BURGUAN: There were two people in the SUV, both of them are deceased.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police killed them both.
BURGUAN: One male, one female while they were engaged in the gun battle with police officers, and we had several officers that shot at them and into the vehicle. I don't know what bullets caused their death.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The person in custody not sure of their involvement?
BURGUAN: We have a third person that was seen leaving the area. He is detained. We do not know the extent of his involvement, if any. It's possible that he was not.
BURGUAN: It was -- he was the person was detained very close to where the officer-involved shooting. We don't have an ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was he wearing similar clothing? BURGUAN: I don't know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was an arrest on Paulson (ph) street.
BURGUAN: There was somebody detained. We have not identified them yet.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did that person have weapons on him, that third suspect detained, weapons located on that person?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't have that information.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where there any words exchanged during this gunfire between the suspects and the police?
BURGUAN: I don't know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is their nationality?
BURGUAN: I don't know. Okay. We're going to try to do another press conference sometime around 8:30, 9:00. Hopefully we'll have more information for you at that time. Thank you.
COOPER: All right. So there you just - you heard the chief, you heard the FBI, we're going to get reaction from our panel, but if you're just joining us, I just want to kind of bring you up to date. Two suspects dead, a male and a female, both involved with officer- involved shootings at that location where you saw the SUV riddled with bullet holes. They were killed at that location. The body of one of them was out in the street, the body of the other one believed to be in the vehicle itself. They are being very cautious about approaching that vehicle because of sensible what the chief called sensitive stuff around the vehicle itself. Could not confirm the age. The relationship between the man and the woman and anything about their identities.
Said that a third person was seen running away from or leaving the scene - the area where that shooting occurred. They don't know if that person has any involvement in this. If he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, was just trying to get away or was actually a suspect, was one of the gunmen. That person has - is being detained and being questioned. Would not say - said, didn't know if the person had a weapon on them. Didn't know what the person was wearing at the time. That some people had called in reports of the sound of people, somebody kind of jumping fences. The chief wasn't sure if that was people calling and hearing police officers jumping fences because as you heard from the reporter who was on the scene earlier, David Danilskin (ph), as you saw the live pictures that area was swarming with police from multiple agencies. They believe the search in that area has wrapped up and that people no longer have to shelter in place. I quickly want to go back to our panel. Lenny DePaul, Chris - Art Roderick and Harry Houck as well as Bob Baer. Jonathan Gillam and Dan Bongino. Just to kind of get a quick roundup of the key point that for our panel heard in that press conference. Lenny de Paul, I'll start with you. What jumped out to you as critical in this? DEPAUL: Well, I guess the good thing, Anderson, is the threat appears to be somewhat eliminated, or at least for now it is, until they do a lot of follow up with - you know, having a male and female involved, the assistant special agent in charge with the FBI was kind of going down that road with terrorism, which is scary in itself. So, there was a lot of preplanning - these two. They were tactically sound, they were dressed for the occasion, they had some pretty good ammunition and weaponry involved. So, they have got a lot of homework to do and who knows what is waiting for them as this investigation continues.
COOPER: And Lenny mentioned terrorism. And I should point, the FBI official said that the terrorism is a possibility that they are making some adjustments to the investigation. There is a few potential things that make them think it is a possibility, but he would not go down that road, would not give out any more details and say they are still gathering facts and that someone - the chief said somebody did leave. There was some sort of a dispute at the meeting in the Inland Regional Center where there was some sort of other meeting or a holiday party.
Again, it's not clear, exactly, what the nature of the meeting for local officials or county personnel, but that there was some sort of dispute, somebody left. It's not clear if the person who left is also the person who came back shooting with at least one other person, possibly a third person. Let's just check in, Harry Houck, what interested you the most?
HARRY HOUCK: Yeah, I'm interested in this third person. Apparently, this third person doesn't have any dark clothing on, in the area. It would be easy to find out either if he had a weapon on him, he dumped it when he ran, did he change clothes when he was in, or is there third weapon inside the vehicle. It's - the third weapon inside the vehicle, and there probably was a third person. Now, the fact that also that this dispute with this gentleman allegedly left and come back, I mean this was too well planned for just somebody getting mad at somebody and come back and shoot them. You know, I mean so - I think that disputes should go out ...
COOPER: Evan Perez, our senior justice reporter, has some additional details from law enforcement sources. Evan, what are you hearing?
EVAN PEREZ: Well, Anderson in regards to that question of this person who was in the holiday event and ended up being the scene of the shooting, I'm told that law enforcement does believe it is related, it is the person who ended upcoming back with a couple of other people and then the shooting began inside this holiday event. Now what are the explanations for that? There could be a number of them including perhaps that somebody wanted to make sure they knew whoever they were trying to target was in this room, perhaps, that could be it. Again, this also could be -- it still could be a terrorism incident as the FBI assistant director there in Los Angeles said at the press conference. At this point, these are all the possibilities that are being explored, but we do know that the law enforcement at this point does believe that the person who got into an argument was in this event, was in this holiday event, then left and then came back, either because of a beef they had with someone in there or other people, multiple people in there and then this shooting began and so we do know that they've now recovered two pistols and two AR-15 style handguns, rifles, I'm sorry, long guns and so those are also now being traced to see where those came from. Again, at this point terrorism is still not being ruled out, it's something that they are still trying to put together.
COOPER: Evan, so let me ask you, when we hear that this was somebody who was at the event and then left, it makes it sound like this was somebody who had a reason to be at the event like an office party and then they had a fight and then they left and came back with somebody else. But is it possible that this person wasn't really supposed to be there, came there because they knew this gathering was occurring, had a confrontation, and then left and came back? Clearly, there was a level of preparation involved in this. So we don't -- I'm assuming we don't know whether this person was meant to be there, supposed to be there or just showed up there, correct?
PEREZ: Yeah, the suspicion at this point, again, this is a working theory from law enforcement is that this person got into the event, was at the event and then left, either was kicked out or there was some dispute that caused them to have to leave and then returned with two people. Now you raise a good possibility, a good question whether this person simply was being kicked out because he didn't belong there or -- but he was in there and then exited or was kicked out and then came back with two people.
COOPER: And your reporting is incredibly important right now, because what it really does is reemphasize the importance on trying to learn as much as we can about this event itself, and I'm not really clear in all the reporting that we've heard so far about who was meeting here. I mean, the most it's been described to me is county personnel and you're saying ...
PEREZ: Yeah, it was a county - apparently, it was a county health employee group, Anderson. It was, you know, some kind of county health agency that was meeting there, was having their holiday Christmas event. It was in this auditorium, which is rented out by this Inland Regional Center and so this - they had -- it had nothing to do with the center itself, it just simply happened to be the scene of where this holiday event was taking place. Again, that was a county, these were county employees, health employees and apparently it's a very large agency within the county government there that was having its event there. And again, whether or not this person belonged there, whether this person worked with that agency and simply had a beef, we still don't know.
COOPER: Did this person have some sort of gripe with this county health agency or a particular employee?
PEREZ: Right. And certainly ... COOPER: Evan, I just got to break away for a second. Stick around because Scott Glover is back on the phone. He's at a house in Redlands. At a house there appears to be some sort of a raid going on. Explain what you're seeing, Scott.
SCOTT GLOVER: Well, just a moment ago, the FBI announced over a loud speaker to the occupants of this townhouse or an apartment, that this is the FBI, please come to the front door. They, you know, said that multiple times.
It's unclear from my vantage point whether - if there has been - activity, but there are, you know, several dozen law enforcement officers on scene, many, you know, dressed in tactical gear, and there is a PIO from the Redlands police department who's confirmed they are here to assist with the search warrant and that that is related to the shootings and activity earlier in the day.
COOPER: So, Scott, let me - just a couple of questions here. We've just learned that tips led law enforcement earlier in the day prior to the after the shooting at the Inland Regional Center, but prior to the SUV being the shootout with the SUV. Tips led them to a residence in Redlands where they saw a vehicle leaving the scene and that was the SUV that they began following that ended up in the shooting and the killing of the two suspects. Is that the residence you are at? Do you know?
GLOVER: I believe that that is the residence that I'm at. I've just spoken with a law enforcement officer who said that this is the only active scene in Redlands. I heard the same law enforcement officials that you did speaking at the press conference a few moment ago, and it is my belief that I am outside that location and certainly from the number of law enforcement officers here and the length of time they have spent here it seems to be a scene of great interest for them.
COOPER: So, and again, I know your distance from it and don't have necessarily eyes on it, or know much about the facility. Do you have any idea how many apartments there are in this facility? And you said they are telling people to come out. Has the building not been evacuated?
GLOVER: Well, it's a -- I can't -- I mean, there are many units in there. They are either townhomes or there are apartments and from my vantage point, I can't see quite how large the complex is. They announced a specific address three or four times and told the occupants of that address to come to the front door. I don't know what happened as a result of that. I can still see, you know, a SWAT vehicle, another law enforcement vehicle down in the area where that announcement was made. And again, police have been sort of massing here over the past couple of hours, the police presence probably quadrupled since I first arrived and there are probably several dozen officers here now. It's hard for me to be specific because it's dark at this point and I've been kept a certain distance away.
COOPER: But Scott, this is - this is also now your reporting is important in sort of trying to piece this puzzle together because we know early reports were, initial reports were that there were three shooters involved, those were the initial reports, two police. Again, those were based on eyewitnesses at the time, if people are dressed similarly in the confusion. Sometimes people see multiple gunmen even though there aren't in this case we know there were two people involved in this, but are there a third? We don't know the answer to that. But earlier reports said there were. The police said they apprehended a third person or a person leaving the scene near where the shootout occurred that were the two suspects were killed. That person is being held unclear whether that person has any involvement. They searched an area around the SUV based on local residents hearing somebody jumping over fences. They believe they cleared that area. So, but this raises now another possibility which we haven't really thought about up until now, which is that if there was a third shooter involved in this and that they went back to this apartment which we believe they did because it was police who saw them leaving this apartment in the vehicle, which led them to follow this SUV, there is a new possibility now, which is that there - that if there was a third shooter, that third shooter is still in the apartment and that is why that shooter calling out to you now. That's a possibility. We don't know if that's the fact or not and we're looking at a live picture now from the area in Redlands.
GLOVER: Yeah. And I was going to say I would think that it would be the protocol to make that announcement no matter what, whether they think they are going to find someone in there or not, that it's going to be a kind of a standard precautionary tactic, but clearly they are concerned and as you were just speaking, Anderson, I see them rolling out what appears to be some sort of a robotic device that you might use to go in and deal with an explosive or something like that. I can't say for sure, but that's what it appears to be and whatever the case, they are certainly being very cautious and taking their time here.
COOPER: So, the fact that they are calling out about executing a search warrant, calling out for somebody in a specific apartment to come out, it would appear and I don't know how long you have been on the scene or if you now how long the police presence has been on the scene although they were clearly staking this apartment out after the initial slaughter because they saw the vehicle leave.